It was a pleasure to host @LadyAshBorg, Co-Founder and CEO of @Vue_ai, and one of the most battle-hardened founders in the ecosystem anywhere in the world. For her #EE21 masterclass, we spoke about building cutting edge businesses from India for the world. Some insights (1/9):
"The dream had always been to build a global deep tech startup from India". After moving back, Ashwini registered the company and VCs began introducing themselves. Of course, they didn’t get what Ashwini + team were up to and thought it was "some kind of a science project" (2/9)
Which is unsurprising because, back then, AI, computer vision, video recognition were way ahead of the times. Not that it deterred Ashwini! She calls herself a "complex systems thinker", solving billion dollar problems not for one market but for the world. (3/9)
From Day 0, Ashwini’s ambitions were global. She was determined to get the top retailers in every geography. "We were 4-5 years ahead of the times", Ashwini said, and dealing with legacy issues, we had to be very good at storytelling and GTM. (4/9)
Focusing on a vertical approach rather than a horizontal one, Ashwini & team began building the product in their customers’ offices. The deep co-working relationship helped build new products faster and also helped expand each customer by 2-3x! (5/9)
"Your company is a product of your GTM strategy", Ashwini said. The ‘land and expand’ strategy, which they bet on, ensured that their product roadmap and growth was fully correlated with what the market was asking them to provide, ensuring long-term defensibility (6/9)
How do you play by the rules for a category where none exists? Ashwini spoke of sales teams, particularly from India and Japan, which are scrappy & excited by the fact that there were no rules. She said that this DNA in every team member fosters a customer-centric culture. (7/9)
As a CEO, she likened her role to that of a sports coach. She encourages herself & her teams to look at goals, the path to those goals & figure out things that don’t come naturally to them. These KPIs reveal the possibilities that can never be spotted from comfort zones. (8/9)
Half the job of building a company is surviving. This means having a "cockroach mentality" and a framework to recover from mistakes. "Someone becomes a unicorn every month", Ashwini said. "Forget about all that. Just have the patience to let yourself win". (9/9)
It's always a pleasure @LadyAshBorg -- what a fantastic session! Thank you from the entire @lightspeedee cohort and from @LightspeedIndia! 🙏🙏
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